Stand up paddle surfing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water.
Stand-up paddleboarding, also known for the acronym SUP, is one of the fastest growing boardsports..
SUP is a subclass of paddleboarding, a broader concept that also includes the use of arms while kneeling, lying or standing on a narrow and long paddleboard to move around in the water.
Paddleboarding has its roots in Africa, South America, and the ancient Polynesian culture. Historians believe that wooden paddleboards were used by 16th-century natives to move from one place to another, and also to catch waves for fun.
Between the 1930s and the early 1990s, paddleboards remained in the shadows of surfboards and surfing, as smaller and lighter boards took over the market.
Today, the paddleboard ranges between 12 and 20 feet in length, it is about 20 inches wide and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds.
Stand-up paddleboarding quickly emerged as an accessible alternative, especially for (older) surfers who have never given up on catching and riding waves.
SUPing can be enjoyed is flat oceans, surf zones, lakes, rivers, canals, inland waterways, and even in large swimming pools.
With the advent of inflatable stand-up paddleboards, the sport became even more popular and accessible – the SUP board now fits in a backpack.
Stand-up paddleboarding not only is an excellent workout and pastime, but it can also be a smart mean of transportation, allow you to carry small bags and objects onboard.
SUPing also opened new and unexpected opportunities outside of surfing. Stand-up paddleboards are also used by yoga, pilates, fishing and swimming enthusiasts to perform specific training.
Just like with a surfboard, the SUP rider stands in the upright position, centered on the board. Then, the user plants the blade fully in the water before starting to pull. This applies to every stroke he or she takes.
In 2008, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) officially classified stand-up paddleboards as vessels, but they must give way to motor powered boats and large watercraft.
The industry quickly answered with the launch of hundreds of more or less surfboard-inspired models, which could be used in various situations. Brands that until recently were locked up in niche windsurfing and kiteboarding markets found new opportunities in SUPing.
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